greater blessings
Week 11 is scheduled for study March 7-13, 2022. We may not become great like Joseph of Egypt, but all of us can be worthy of greater blessings when we stay close to the Lord.

Day 1

As you read Genesis 37-41, pray that the Holy Ghost will help you see how the scriptural passages relate to your life. Record any insights you receive.

Genesis 37:1-28; 39; 41:9-45 – The Lord was with Joseph in his adversity.

At home

Where did Joseph’s adversities come from? Do we ever lay the blame on Joseph for some of his difficulties in life? He may have become a great man, but that doesn’t mean he was always perfect. When he was younger, he used his favored status with his parents to wield influence in the family. He was a tattler, and his brothers resented him telling on them when they misbehaved. When his father gave him his special coat that no one else got, his brothers further resented him for his favored status. They were much older, and felt they were more deserving of special status than their little brother. Remember that the four mothers of all these sons bickered and were constantly dealing with jealousy among themselves. Some of that bitterness between the wives of Israel had to be passed down to their children. How many parents do you know who don’t pass on their own opinions to their children?

It also didn’t help that Joseph didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. At the time he was the youngest child. Yet he insisted on telling the whole family about his dreams of them bowing in submission to him. And it happened more than once. His dreams even upset his father, because he claimed even his father would bow to him.

This is the root of Joseph’s family trouble. Israel’s family was rife with bickering and strife, despite him being a prophet. Our story of Joseph being sold into slavery is just the end result of the ongoing bad behavior of his wicked brothers. Over time they grew up a little, and they came to have remorse for what they did to their little brother, but it took years for that sorrow to take full root in their hearts. Part of that change came from seeing what their lie about Joseph being killed by a wild animal did to their father. Despite all the bickering in the family, they did love their father. It hurt to see him suffer so over Joseph’s “death.”

Even though it is easy enough to claim that Joseph had a raw deal at home, we need to remember that he was still living a good enough life that the Lord was giving him dreams of the future. Dreams and their interpretation were part of Joseph’s spiritual gift, just like visions and revelations were part of Joseph Smith’s spiritual gifts. The Lord softened the hearts of enough of Joseph’s brothers that they didn’t go through with their original plan to kill him. Instead they sold him into slavery. Not great, but better than the alternative. As long as Joseph was still alive, the Lord could work with that. And the important thing here is that the Lord actually needed Joseph to be in Egypt, so I don’t doubt for a moment that He arranged for those Midianites to come along to buy him and take him to where Joseph could do the most good for the Lord in bringing to pass the dreams He had already given to Joseph. So even in these unjust trials in Joseph’s life, the Lord was there and operating in the background to bring to pass much righteousness.

In Egypt

We should acknowledge that Joseph was only 17 years old when he was sold into slavery. But even at such a tender age, when he was torn from his family and placed in a hostile place, he was still faithful to his upbringing. He continued to exercise his faith in God, and kept all the commandments he had been taught by his parents. We don’t really know what he was taught, because the 10 commandments wouldn’t be given as we know them for another 400 plus years. Whatever Joseph had been taught, he was obviously true to those teachings, because the Lord blessed him in any circumstance in which he found himself.

First the Lord blessed him so extravagantly that his master, Potifar, trusted Joseph so completely that he stopped paying attention to what he owned or didn’t own. The only thing he knew about his own household affairs was what was served at mealtime. Joseph handled everything else. What a life for Potifar! Even when Potifar’s wife unjustly accused Joseph, and Potifar put him in jail, the Lord blessed Joseph so abundantly that the head of the jail gave Joseph the responsibility of running the entire jail. And this was the king’s jail for all of Egypt, not just some local klink.

Joseph’s mission in life was to move God’s promises to bless Abraham’s posterity forward. The prophet Abraham knew about Moses who wouldn’t be born for more than 400 years. The Lord told Abraham his great grandson, named Joseph, would bring the whole growing family of Israel into Egypt where they would eventually serve as slaves for 400 years, until Moses was born to deliver them and take them to the land God had promised to give to Abraham’s posterity.

This means that even though the trials of Joseph’s life were not specifically created by God, He used them to bless Joseph and Israel’s family to fulfill his promise to protect them and increase them to become a mighty people. The Lord knew the famine was coming. He needed Joseph in a position of responsibility so he could save his family from starvation. Hence all the dreams and the gift of interpreting dreams.


We all have times that life seems to be dealing us a raw deal. Sometimes we deserve what we are getting, but sometimes things happen that are not of our doing. But do we see and acknowledge how the Lord is moving in the background to teach us, help us, position us, and bless us in so many ways? He is. He does. And we need to learn to recognize that the Lord is always seeking for ways to bless and help us when we are obedient to His commandments. Life is still hard. Always has been and always will be. But that doesn’t prevent the Lord from still accomplishing His purposes. All we need to be is obedient and do what we can to do good. If we do, the Lord will open doors for us we never saw coming.

Day 2

As you read Genesis 37-41, pray that the Holy Ghost will help you see how the scriptural passages relate to your life. Record any insights you receive.

Genesis 37:5-11; 40; 41:1-38 – If I am faithful, the Lord will guide and inspire me.

When we speak of Joseph being in prison, we usually just talk about how amazingly fortunate he was that the Lord blessed him and prospered him, even in jail. But we fail to remember that he was still living, eating, and sleeping in a prison. And this was the ancient Egyptian prisons, not some modern prison with comfortable furniture and good food. Or at least better food than what Egyptian prisoners ate. Life was not easy for Joseph, despite the blessings he was receiving.

Joseph could have turned on the Lord and railed because of his hardships, but he chose the higher road and blessed God and was obedient to Him. Joseph focused on being grateful for what the Lord gave him, the opportunities to do more good, even under trying circumstances. This is a great demonstration of the calibre and character that Joseph had developed. It didn’t matter what his life circumstances were, he sought to do good always and obey God in all things. This is why God was able to bless him as he did.

Does that mean that when we try to live like Joseph did, that the Lord will make us mighty in whatever we do? Maybe, but not necessarily. I have never become mighty in anything, but I know that because I tried to live my life like Joseph in Egypt, I was prospered in every job I ever had. Things were always better at work when I left my employment than when I started. I don’t take credit for that, I give that credit to God. When we seek to bless the lives of others, and to be obedient to God’s commandments, He is able to magnify our efforts and show us ways to do more than we could possibly do on our own without Him.

Day 3

As you read Genesis 37-41, pray that the Holy Ghost will help you see how the scriptural passages relate to your life. Record any insights you receive.

Genesis 38; 39:7-20 – With the Lord’s help, I can flee temptation.

I was told once by a Bishop that of all the ways to defend yourself, the best way is to run away. When it comes to sin of any kind, removing yourself from the situation is always the best way to protect yourself. Joseph did all the right things to protect himself from Potifar’s wife. He controlled his thoughts, his eyes, his impulses. He thought through the temptation and recognized that what she wanted him to do was not only a great sin against the man who had done so much for him, but it was a sin against God. He was grateful for his blessings, and didn’t want to lose them through something so wicked.

All of these lessons are there for us in this one temptation of Joseph and Potifar’s wife. It isn’t enough just to not sin. It is important to recognize that Joseph recognized God’s blessings and valued them greatly. He was loyal to Potifar for trusting him, and didn’t want to betray him. He wasn’t willing to let his personal physical desires get in the way of everything he had worked so hard to achieve. All too often people lose sight of what they have become and achieved in their desire to give into a temptation. They fail to see what they will lose, what they will become if they give into the allure of the temptation. Sometimes staying around a temptation is the most dangerous thing you can do. Better to flee in whatever way is necessary than put yourself at risk of succumbing to the temptation.

FHE/Personal Study

Genesis 41:15-57 – Greater blessings

There is an eternal priesthood principle at play here that can be easy to miss. Early on in Abraham 1 Abraham says he was seeking the blessings of the Fathers. This makes it sound like he was wanting to be blessed. But when you look at the Abrahamic covenant God established with Abraham in chapter 2, it becomes more obvious that the goal is not so much to be blessed as to be a blessing to others. Look below at Abraham 2:9-12 and just focus on what I have underlined. In each instance the promise is that Abraham will become a blessing in the life of others. This passage ends with a statement of satisfaction and gratitude from Abraham that his desire has been fulfilled.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;

The principle here is that we cannot be richly blessed without blessing someone else first. As you read or reread the story of Joseph in Egypt, notice that it was through Joseph’s hard work to serve his masters, first Potiphar then the king’s jailor, that the Lord was able to bless him and magnify all that he did so that he prospered. If Joseph had sat around feeling sorry for himself, nothing great would have happened.

Joseph was able to be a blessing to the nation of Egypt and his family, because he worked hard to be a blessing in the life of those around him. Being a blessing in the life of others is a celestial trait that all of us need to learn in this life. Selfishness in any degree does not exist in a celestial society. So my question is this: What am I doing today to better my situation at work, at home, and in life in general to be a help and a blessing to others?

It is important to note that Joseph didn’t set out to be a blessing to the nation of Egypt. He didn’t plan on saving his family from starvation. These things were blessings from the Lord because Joseph prepared himself by working hard to do his best in all that came his way. He neither chose to be a slave in Potiphar’s house or to be a prisoner. But once he found himself in those situations, he went to work and did all he could to improve his situation.

In our own life, are we seeking to be prepared for the future as best we can? Do we seek to bring peace to others, to encourage others to be and do their best? We never know just how far the Lord may carry our personal influence. This is one of the many blessings of having the priesthood covenants in our lives. We are able to live our life the best way we know how, and the Lord is able to magnify our good influence to bless the lives of those around us.

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OT11-2022 – The Lord was With Joseph

Week 11